The Queensland Government has come out with a discussion paper outlining strategies to cut red tape for gold prospectors dependent on small-scale alluvial mining.
One of the proposals is to replace the old system of pegging land for mining tenements with satellite technology.
The discussion paper said on-ground marking could be phased out if the boundaries can be clearly marked out with topographical maps, aerial photography and satellite imagery.
“The availability of modern technology, such as geospatial information systems in combination with global positioning system (GPS), has scope to make physical marking redundant,” it said.
The benefits for miners include saving time and costs from travelling to remote areas to mark areas. It also said alluvial miners could particularly benefit as their leases involve creeks and watercourses. Satellite technology will provide a clear description of landscape features and other data, the report said.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines’ Luke Croton said the government wants feedback on the suggested changes before the deadline at the end of next week, the ABC reported.
“Things like do we still need to peg, new technology available like GPS’s and that,” he said.
“Do we need to be so prescriptive about the pegs have got to be so far in the ground, they’ve got to be a certain colour?
“It’s about the options of giving industry saying well, we want to move into the modern times, new technology and how can we do that more effectively.”
He hopes the proposals will promote alluvial mining, and the benefits to seep into the larger community.
“From the industry themselves over a period of time we have obviously heard the message about why can’t we use the modern technology for mapping like GPS’s?” he said.
“Why do they need to drive out a number of times? Why do they need to put notices on paper and all this sort of stuff when there’s more modern technology that could reduce the cost?”
The report said discretion can be used on the part of chief executives to still use marking in exceptional circumstances like solving boundary conflicts or landowner issues.